Gambling Rats (GNW 6/7/09: Clash of the Titans)

Psychologists have trained rats to become successful gamblers, before showing how modifying the brain chemistry could make the rats less rational. It was their only hope of winning back their losses.

Rats, left to their own devices, quickly learned to minimise their losses and maximise their profits. The scientists then injected the rats with brain-effecting drugs. Not for scientific purposes – just out of spite.

The scientists are now trying to work out what other chemicals they need to inject into a rat’s brain to make them as dumb as we are.

The TAB is delighted, and is now installing a whole lot of teensy weensy little poker machines. / extra-small stools at the bar.

Research psychologists have been teaching rats how to gamble, filling a role that’s been vacant since the death of Kerry Packer.

The rats became successful gamblers, learning that it was better to chooses an option with fewer pellets but fewer penalties. So if you are a problem gambler, beware of a rat on the hustle. / Which makes them markedly smarter than half the people at Wrest Point.

Sure, rats might be smarter than us at gambling, but who invented the atomic bomb? Oh, right.

But researchers have been getting lab rats to gamble for ages. Will it be the electrified maze or the lethal injection?

Inspired, the TAB is now allowing people to bet with cheese.

Not only are rats smarter than us when it comes to gambling, but drinking, smoking, and weapons of mass destruction.

At last lab rats will be able to bet on which of their colleagues will make it through the maze, and which will end up electrocuted or poisoned!

The scientists injected the rodents with a drug to reduce serotonin, which controls impulse control, and the rats started acting more impulsively. Then the scientists injected them with a drug that reduced dopamine, which is related to feeling pleasure, and the rats started acting less pleasure-seeking. The scientists are calling it the DERRR Effect.

The psychologists say they’ve now found a perfect cure for gambling addiction. When you hit the jackpot, a giant spring-powered steel bar breaks your spine.

They may be disease-carrying vermin who live in rubbish and eat rotting food, but they draw the line at gambling.

So rats aren’t fooled by gambling unless you chemically alter their brains! Now I know why casinos always have bars. / serve alcohol.

Casino owners are now just trying to work out where’s the best place to put the serotonin-injection machines.

The researchers have concluded that problem gambling could be tackled by injecting gamblers’ brains with rats.

The researchers hope to tackle problem gambling by training rats how to gamble, and then getting them to take up all the seats at the pokies.

The research explains why all casino operators are dirty rats.

Of course, I don’t think human gamblers would be so into it either if they were only winning food-pellets.

It turns out that casinos would be just brimming with gambling rats, if they didn’t have such a strict dress code.

Rats don’t mind the odd flutter, but find it very hard to come up with enough initial capital.

It turns out that rats would love to gamble – but the bouncers won’t let them in until they get the right footwear.

But when you live in the sewers, eating decaying food scraps, you’re used to taking the odd risk.

But all the rats really want to get into the high-rollers’ room, and play against the Big Cheese.

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